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Identity Crisis

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  816 ratings  ·  122 reviews

‘Ben Elton’s 16th novel proves yet again what a genuinely talented comic novelist he is – it’s expertly crafted, very clever and really funny’ Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail

Why are we all so hostile? So quick to take offence? Truly we are living in the age of outrage.

A series of apparently random murders draws amiable, old-school Detective Mick Matlock into a world of sex, p

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 4th 2019 by Transworld Digital (first published November 5th 2015)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  816 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Nat K

"I have a very full life online."

Welcome back Ben Elton, it's been too long!

Ben's latest offering opens with D.I Mick Matlock speaking at a police media appearance to discuss a recently discovered body in a park. He unknowingly jumps right in with his size elevens by using the phrase "wrong place, wrong time". It was said unwittingly, and no offense was meant. But plenty was taken. The police media liaison department are quick to make him issue an apology, and so the Pandora's Box titled "Politi
Sam Quixote
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
If you say something controversial on social media, YOU DIE! At least that’s what literally happens to the beleaguered characters in Ben Elton’s latest novel, Identity Crisis.

I’d hoped this book was going to be a wry, amusing look at the current state of Western society - specifically: vapid celebrity worship, outrage culture and social media witch-hunts, empty and divisive identity politics, and out-of-control political correctness - but unfortunately it’s not. Elton touches on all of those su
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Senior Detective Michael Matlock says that a woman was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was killed, he doesn’t realise the social blunder that he has committed and the ramifications that will result. Few authors do satire as well as Ben Elton and this seems to be his vent on everything that is absurd and simply wrong in our modern social media, PC correct world. Elton has his finger firmly on the zeitgeist of the times as he has his dig at Harvey Weinstein, interfering in polit ...more
Stephen Robert Collins
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Congratulations this another brilliant Ben Elton book .Its has 10 murders ,it is side splitting funny. Set just before the 2017 referendum this about political correctness gone insane.
This about transgender sexual zir the new word. This a world gone mad. This a Murder book with fucking twist so twisted you go bananas to get it.
Don't be in wrong place at wrong time .
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
If we weren’t in the current post-truth #fakenews Trump-Brexit clusterfuck, I’d have laughed this off as fanciful. Of course, this is a very funny work of fiction, but there are some very disturbing truths which we will probably never be able to prove. Such is the society we live in today. Glad I left social media years ago; Goodreads isn’t SocMed, is it??
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has its finger on the pulse of ‘the now’. Its hilarious & fabulous because it’s sprinkled with the reality of this period in time.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british, kindle
This book is hilarious, sad in parts, and terrifying as it is so easy to see the truth in the humour.
For a person of my age (61) who is struggling to understand the PC terms and the ever more baffling sets of initials e.g. TERF, cis etc, I did identify with Mick Matlock, always scared to use the wrong expression and be vilified and possibly out of work, just by using the wrong word!
The other terror is that of social media and reality TV. Ben has, again, made me think long and hard.
I will be even
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Elton's Rifle!

I've always liked Ben Elton without ever being his biggest fan but in this book, he genuinely spoke to me. This is relentlessly bubbly, irreverent (of course) and often very funny. No target is safe in this very-near-future world of Elton's and he fires shots seemingly indiscriminately. While most politicians have made up names it's obvious who is being sent up, for example, Bunter Jollye and Plantagenet Greased-Hogg - can't imagine who they are modelled on . . .

Elton's story which
Shelly Stanley
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly Fantastic

Ben Elton has never been afraid to say what some of us think no matter how 'un -pc' it may be. This book is both a funny, sad and scarily true reflection of the world we now live in - where everyone is offended by everything and totally absurd issues are a thing of the moment and social media is king. For those of us born before the social media storm and the change in society we see today, it is indeed a masterpiece. Well done Ben Elton!
Katy Noyes
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Epitomises the genre of satire, so over-the-top but also scarily familiar. Genius.

I've seen a fair amount of Ben Elton's comedy, and read several of his novels. I thought I had a handle on his politics, but it's to his credit that he's managed to satirise our contemporary crazy world so it is not clear whether he is railing against the world-gone-mad political correctness, harking back to a simpler time, or embracing it.

This is razor-sharp, relevant and completely on point. From police officers
Sara Eames
Apr 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars (I would have given it 5,if it wasn't for the gratuitous use of foul language)

Bad language aside, this is a brilliant book - a searing satire on modern society. Be warned, nothing is off-limits in this book. Ok, you have to suspend your disbelief with parts of the plot, but that comes with the territory. The characters are well-written and the plot moves at a cracking pace - it never lets up for a moment...and the body counts increases as you move through the book.

I have to say that t
May 24, 2019 rated it did not like it
I hate myself for finishing this terrible book. Just really, really bad. Old man yells at cloud about “””identity politics””” for 376 stupid pages.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Usually love Ben Elton’s stuff as usually satirical and hilarious this was just not very good. Plot was daft and seemed to want to say a lot but said nothing. it was just 370 pages of opinion on today’s society rather than a book. So disappointed
Mark Bulpitt
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An light-hearted look at the crazy times of today’s society; brilliantly written - hilarious with superbly interwoven characters and storyline.
Craig Bellamy
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It all makes sense

A hilariously funny, hard hitting account of contemporary identity politics. Suddenly it all makes sense. The best book on the subject I have ever read.
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I like to think that Ben Elton usually adds an extra layer of something that might just be true to really elevate a social phenomenon. This one was a little too literal for me, and maybe it's just the age gap showing, but his attempts at levity through his dialogue (usually a huge strength) fell a little flat. I felt like he was trying to explain mindsets and get his audience up to speed on the language and approaches rather than doing anything innovative with them.

There's a campy thread that go
Jason Periott
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious, but sadly so pathetically honest, Ben Elton hits the nail right on the head as usual.
(#Reader arrested for abusive comment concerning nails).
Just read it, you'll understand what I mean.
John Wedlake
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is definitely worth a read. As a generation x-er myself I can totally relate to the plight of Detective Matlock who feels cumbersome in this rapidly changing world of identity and obsessive political correctness.

Ben's satire remains sharp and I feel that this book aligns with some of his earlier works. However, the two last books and my favourites from Elton were: The Two Brothers and Time and Time Again which were of a different style to earlier novels and with Identity Crisis I feel
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ben Elton makes you think. And I have to, because he's too clever for me :)

I want to sit down with a cup of tea and chat with him. Everything he says in this novel resonates with me. A world gone crazy, hashtag dogooding hijacked by corporate greed or straight out evil.

I kept going 'OMG! Right?' but then I worried that because he's a satirist that I was getting it wrong anyway. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be agreeing with him, just listening to him.

Anyway, a difficult read for me (keeping up) but
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Brutally satirical, angry, funny. Personal highlight was a slimy politician called Plantagenet Greased-Hogg, wonder who that could be?
Fiona Neal
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this book!!! Only got to the end of chapter 6, so won't be doing any spoilers. Starts off with old school detective in his late 50s (Ben Elton's age group) investigating a murder of an 18 year old girl; trying as usual to get the "right" tone for the tragedy, not to be insensitive etc., when he causes a Twatter (my name for it - appropriate I think) storm by saying the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and advising teenage girls and women to avoid the park after dark, travel ...more
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good book this though one that feels more in line with the older Ben Elton books such as Gridlock, Stark or High Society taking in as it's does contemporary political issues whereas some of his recent books have been part historical accounts usual with war as the backdrop..these themselves have been enjoyable but a move back to political satire doesn't actually feel a retrograde step despite the fact Ben Elton had seemingly moved away from this type of novel.
It's a novel really that maybe expl
Sam Schroder
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love the way Elton writes in such a captivating style that you really can’t stand the thought of putting the book down. And, especially, just like Dead Famous and Blind Faith, how he has an astonishingly accurate way of saying it like it is in terms of the voyeuristic, self-absorbed, cyber-reality of the world we are living in. When Mick Matlock warns women to be safe after a woman is murdered on a late-night solo walk, he unleashes the wrath of the politically correct public for be ...more
Heather Withington
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A funny take on the current climate, Identity Crisis is my new facourite Ben Elton book. A well paced book with a mystery at its heart, I loved reading it and it has got me out of my recent reading slump! It is such a light read, and the solution (although not obvious) is concluded at the end with all ends tied up. Would recommend, but there is a fair amount of foul language which some might find to be a problem - just a warning.
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Identification, political correctness, fake news, Russian involvement in other countries ‘fair and just elections’, and brexit gone mad. In true Ben Elton form here is another novel that takes our current reality to the extreme, keeps us laughing but then leaves us wondering how far this is from the real world we live in!
The ISBN matches - but no photo?

I do like Ben Elton. I enjoy his intelligence and wit - but I don't always understand what he's saying. That's my loss. I'm clearly not that bright! :) I did stop buying his books, because I mostly wasn't getting it.

Anyway, I've only begun today (10th April) and so far (I have to pay attention) but it is definitely a subject matter that interests me. The power of the hashtag!

To be continued ....
Jody Miller
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting and current book. The world of social media and how it manipulates the general public is fascinating. Don’t believe everything you share. Also loved the main character and how he struggled with the generation of gender fluidity and never knowing the right pronoun to use :)
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oooh, I don’t know Matlock. The Smiths? What about Morrissey & ‘For Britain’? Was that deliberate Mr Elton?
I was somewhat underwhelmed by this offering from Mr "let's pick the latest fad / obsession / bugbear" Elton. It didn't have the same bite as some of his others
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I haven't laughed so much in ages. Thank you PC-not-PC.
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ben-elton
Ben Elton is back with his usual fast paced satirical look at the scandal of fake news, political correctness gone crazy , and the blight of the hashtag generation. Not quite as funny as some of his older books but maybe its because it's so close to the truth.#hesback
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Ben Elton was born on 3 May 1959, in Catford, South London. The youngest of four, he went to Godalming Grammar school, joined amateur dramatic societies and wrote his first play at 15. He wanted to be a stagehand at the local theatre, but instead did A-Level Theatre Studies and studied drama at Manchester University in 1977.

His career as both performer and writer encompasses some of the most memo